2012 poetry potluck giveaway winner and one last poem

Cornelius with the new official Alphabet Soup cookie: Oatmeal Jama Bars.

Cornelius and I can’t and don’t want to believe the 2012 Alphabet Soup Poetry Potluck is over. *sniff sniff*

Could it be May already? How time flies when you’re nibbling on good poetry and noshing to the nines!

Oh, what a feast we had — scaling mountains, “borrowing” a mail truck, visiting Cuba, playing with pirates, going to camp. We spiced things up with hot chili, jambalaya and a spooky brew, and even celebrated Passover together. And how about all those wonderful personal stories — grandmas who baked bread, cookies, biscuits and pies? What could be better than a group of fun-loving poets sharing good memories and bits of family history we could all relate to?

Food is the great equalizer, allowing us to reach back in time, adopt new customs and cultures, and bond with others in unique ways. I thoroughly enjoyed all the poems and learning a wee bit more about each of the poets — the journalist in me always craves those wonderful backstories and I thank everyone for digging up those vintage photos and giving us a peek into your private worlds.

On April 30th, Cornelius suggested we make some of Robyn Hood Black’s Oatmeal Jama Bars. There’s nothing like strawberry jam to transport a little bear to flavor nirvana. As promised, the recipe was easy and yum yum yummy — so good, in fact, we’ve decided to adopt it as our official cookie here at Alphabet Soup (thanks, Robyn!).

The Oatmeal Jama Bars recipe and all the other recipes shared during April have been added to the Author/Illustrator Recipe Archive, which can be accessed by clicking the Recipe tab at the top of the blog header. Or, you can just click on the “Poetry Potluck 2012” link in the sidebar Categories Menu any time you wish to revisit the posts.

We’ve also decided that hereafter, all quiches made in the Alphabet Soup kitchen will be called “Quiche Doraine,” as suggested by my witty Aussie friend Jenny, a master punster who once made a killer pot of chili in our Wimbledon flat.



We were honored to have so many readers stop by to celebrate Poetry Month with us and wish we could award prizes to everyone. Once again, we wisely avoided an unpleasant teddy bear kerfuffle by enlisting the ever steady and dependable Mr. Random Integer Generator to pick our winner.

Just for the occasion, Mr. Generator worked the red carpet in a raven black Giorgio Armani Collezioni wool crepe suit and his signature bowler hat, tilted ever so. His dark mustache trimmed to perfection, he was heard muttering “Nevermore” in a husky voice while the results were being tallied. We had a record number of entries this year, 102 unique commenters — no doubt all of them tummy growlers uncommonly good-looking.

And now, I’m pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 Poetry Potluck Giveaway Prize Pack is —





Please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com.

Thanks to everyone for entering. We appreciated your time, interest, and juicy opinions!



Since we opened the Potluck with Mary’s “Honey at the Table,” it’s only fitting we go out with another honey poem, to remind us of the literary sweetness, the passion for poetry that brought us all together.

“Honey Seeker” depicted on 8,000-year-old cave painting (Araña Caves, Spain)

by Mary Oliver

And so at last I climbed
the honey tree, ate
chunks of pure light, ate
the bodies of bees that could not
get out of my way, ate
the dark hair of the leaves,
the rippling bark,
the heartwood. Such
frenzy! But joy does that,
I’m told, in the beginning.
Later, maybe,
I’ll come here only
sometimes and with a
middling hunger. But now
I climb like a snake,
I clamber like a bear to
the nuzzling place, to the light
salvaged by the thighs
of bees and racked up
in the body of the tree.
Oh, anyone can see
how I love myself at last!
how I love the world! climbing
by day or night
in the wind, in the leaves, kneeling
at the secret rip, the cords
of my body stretching
and singing in the heaven of appetite.

Copyright 1983 Mary Oliver (American Primitive, Little, Brown). All rights reserved.


~Thank you, Potluck Poets, for sharing your poems, recipes, stories and photographs.~

*Thank you, Everyone, for noshing with us, reading along and leaving such thoughtful, insightful comments.*

**Thank you to Chronicle Books, Henry Holt BFYR, Groundwood Books, Clarion Books, FSG/Macmillan, and Janet Wong for donating the Door Prizes**

♦Welcome, New Subscribers! We’ve expanded our table and acquired more seats just for you.♦

♥ Happy May, you cute little dumplings, you! Stay tuned for a fabulous menu featuring more poetry, lotsa special guests, tasty reads and carefully contrived nonsense. We will make merry, gamboling with abandon in lush green meadows with flowers in our hair. Somebody has to.


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

28 thoughts on “2012 poetry potluck giveaway winner and one last poem

  1. Awww, April’s over? Really??? *commiserates with you and sniffs too* This is a beautiful poem to end Poetry Potluck this year. And now we have a great deal to look forward to in the coming year.

    Here are my favorite lines:
    “Oh, anyone can see
    how I love myself at last!
    how I love the world! climbing
    by day or night
    in the wind, in the leaves, kneeling
    at the secret rip, the cords
    of my body stretching
    and singing in the heaven of appetite.”

    Thanks for a fabulous month, Jama!


    1. Sigh. At least we still have Poetry Fridays! Thanks for all your thoughtful comments, Myra. Happy that you’re now a Mary Oliver fan.


  2. It was an honor to participate, Jama, and to be part of such an insightful, creative team. The life textures and memories that accompanied these recipes are a gift. Thank you for facilitating this and I plan many visits to the archive.


    1. Love the “ripples on the water” effect — all coming from your first email to me! So enjoyed getting to know you, Adele and Sondra better. Thanks again!


  3. Bouquets to you, Jama, for making Poetry Month such a special celebration! I know I’ll visit the archives often! Thanks again for including me!


    1. SO honored and pleased to have you as a guest poet, Adele! Your poem resonated with so many readers. Thanks so much!!


  4. I’m sorry the poetry month is over, too, but I’m happy you gave us one more day of Mary Oliver, something sweet and wonderful to chew on. It *has* been a trip, hasn’t it? I think I’ll steal me a mail truck today and write poems on the bills and then misdeliver them!


  5. It was a special month/gift you gave to us, Jama. Thank you for including me & for your continuing cheer every single day. This Oliver poem is sweet, te he, but with just a flavor all its own of course, and that pictograph gives me shivers, to think that so long ago it happened then too. Love it!


    1. Poetry and honey — ancient and ongoing necessities and pleasures for mankind. Thanks for bringing along your biscuits to the Potluck! Did I mention that we’re all coming over to your house on Sunday for biscuits? Hope you have ample supply in the freezer :).


    1. And thanks to you, for “opening your mind and heart” to poetry! Glad you found some that resonated with you. 🙂


  6. What?? It’s May already?

    ((sticks fingers in ears)) LA LA LA LA I can’t hear you!

    Thank you for a terrific month Jama, really outstanding all around. Now where can I find the recipe for those preacher cookies on the sidebar?


    1. You’re very welcome, Cathy — thanks for noshing with us!

      Aha! So you noticed those preacher cookies! Just a teaser for now; will post the recipe in my upcoming Candice Ransom interview :).


  7. Thank you for the great month of poems. And I’m happy you have an official cookie. I think I may have to try making those, how can I not? So glad you promise they’re easy.


    1. The cookies are quite easy and keep well — if they last that long at your house :). I used strawberry jam this time, next I will try raspberry. Of course with the fruit jam and oatmeal, this cookie counts as a fruit and cereal food group serving :).


Comments are closed.